Bamboo Biodiversity Jungle Gym
Play-based learning using one of the most versatile plants in the world
This project was about doing something a bit different from the usual citizen science workshops.
TTT designed a playground and workshop around the premise of: what if you were allowed to climb on and play with the bamboo scaffolding that you see everywhere, how would that make you feel about bamboo, and nature?
Students aged 5-13 joined a 3-D climbing scavenger hunt, den building using bamboo poles and fresh bamboo cut onsite, and model-making using bamboo skewers.
With thanks to the new Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP) Subvention for Biodiversity Education grant, and Playright Children's Play Association for technical input.
Key facts: Every year 50,000 tonnes of bamboo scaffolding is thrown into Hong Kong landfills. That's about as heavy as five Eiffel Towers!
In Hong Kong even 80+ storey buildings are built using bamboo scaffolding. We were inspired by Shek O's bamboo Chinese opera theatre, and constant renovation works at the White House requiring more bamboo scaffolding. One time we asked our third-generation, cool young dads bamboo scaffold crew if they could put up a climbing frame. They said, sure why not?
Our team pulled in Rachel, who creates ESOL materials for major educational publishers, and Junko, whose illustrations any teacher would recognise, to create these super cute English and Chinese workbooks and curriculum-linked teaching notes for Years 1-3 & 4-6.
Although treated bamboo stabilised with concrete foundations can last at least 25 years, our structure was dismantled in March 2018 and the poles retrieved by our scaffolding crew for reuse where possible.
We're excited that International College Hong Kong created a bamboo programme after visiting us (try to visit this cool programme in action). In 2018 we even presented to the INBAR (International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation) conference in Beijing.
TTT's programme was free of charge and joined by Band 1, 2 and 3 English and Chinese primary and secondary schools and international schools including students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).